Monday, 12 September 2011

Brackley Town 0-3 AFC Totton, 10/09/2011 3pm


Totton travelled to Brackley for a top-of-the-table clash. The Stags are still 1st, while our hosts today, Brackley sit in 2nd place, 2 points behind. The Saints drew 1-1 away at Frome Town in their last game, while Totton beat Barwell 2-1 at home. Tom Baddeley was unavailable for Totton in this game, so Matt Oldring was brought in to fill the left back spot in the only change to the defence. Nathaniel Sherborne started up front on his own in a 4-5-1 formation, with James Coutts starting in the centre of midfield alongside Carl Pettefer and Nathan Campbell. Jon Davies and Mike Gosney on the wings made up the midfield. Brackley were the bookies' favourites to win the league this season, so it promised to be a difficult game, but Totton more than stood up to the challenge...

For the first 5 minutes, the game was very end to end. Brackley had 2 or 3 good chances to score through Owen Story, Francis Green and Elliot Sandy, but Grant Porter was in inspired form in the Totton goalmouth. And Brackley were soon made to pay for missing those early chances when their captain Chris Willmott tripped Nathaniel Sherborne in the box as he tried to turn and shoot, and referee Rob Ellis pointed to the spot. Mike Gosney, who missed his last penalty against Swindon Supermarine, stepped up to smash the ball past Jon Bond who got a hand to it but couldn't keep it out.

Soon after the penalty, Sherborne had a half chance when he intercepted a weak back-pass but fired wide with only Bond to beat. From then on it was one way traffic as Brackley put the Totton defence under constant pressure. Brett Solkhon was denied by a goal-line clearance after a cross from Tom Winters, and then Owen Story couldn't find the net when his shot was deflected behind for a corner by Ian Richardson. Story came close again just before half time when his shot across goal was just wide of the far post.

Half time: Brackley Town 0-1 AFC Totton

Brackley picked up where they had left off before the break as they continued to create chances, including a decent long-range strike from Tom Winters that wasn't far away. But the game changed on the hour mark when some poor defending resulted in Nathaniel Sherborne being put clean through on goal and, as Jon Bond rushed off his line to close Sherborne down, the striker poked the ball through the keeper's legs to double The Stags' lead, very much against the run of play.

5 minutes later, Jon Davies tried his luck when he spotted Bond off his line and attempted to lob the ball up and over the keeper, but it landed on the roof of the net. With just under 20 minutes to go the game took another twist when Brackley defender Francis Green brought down Ryan Hill with a hefty looking challenge and the referee had no hesitation in brandishing his red card and dismissing Green for the foul.

Totton tried to make the extra man count in the time that remained. Carl Pettefer and Jon Davies both had efforts saved by Bond in the last 10 minutes. Brackley substitute Michael Chennells could have got a consolation for his side when he directed Winters' cross goal-wards only to be denied by Porter. And it was Totton's own substitute Michael who settled the contest. Michael Charles came off the bench to pounce on a defensive error and expertly slot the ball into the bottom corner to round off a fantastic day for The Stags.

Full time: Brackley Town 0-3 AFC Totton

This was a thoroughly impressive victory for Totton against a Brackley side who have spent big. But The Stags proved that money can't buy everything as they overcame a strong team to take all 3 points. We didn't have it all our own way and were very much on the back foot for large portions of the game, but in the end it's the scoreline and not the percentage of possession that counts. Next up is another away game at St Albans City on Tuesday 13th September for a 7:45pm kick off.

Brackley Town: Bond, Clifton (Gould 63 mins), Myles, Green, Willmott, Magunda, Story (Chennells 79), Solkhon, Louis (Diggin 70), Sandy, Winters. Unused subs: Dempsey, Murrell.

AFC Totton: Porter, Hill, Whisken, Richardson, Oldring, Davies (Lewis 89), Campbell, Pettefer, Coutts, Gosney, Sherborne (Charles 85). Unused subs: Tomasso, Brown.

Goals: AFC Totton: Gosney (8), Sherborne (55), Charles (90).

Officials: Referee: Mr R Ellis. Assistants: Mr B Whitty & Mr K Norris.

Attendance: 285.

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